About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8503-8508
Publication year: 2020
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.2313

Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain

ESTIMATE OF MEDICAL STUDENTS’ WORKLOAD IN A PUBLIC HEALTH COURSE UNIT AND COMPARISON WITH ECTS CREDITS ALLOCATION

G. Gonçalves, C. Carvalho, M. Sacco

University of Porto, Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (PORTUGAL)
Background:
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) resulted from the Bologna declaration in 1999. The European Union Commission recommended that 1 ECTS should correspond to 25 to 30 hours of the students’ work, including the contact hours with the teaching staff. The allocation of ECTS credits per course unit (CU) should take into consideration the calculation of the number of hours necessary to acquire the defined competences for that specific course unit. In 2007, a new Public Health (PH) CU was introduced in the fifth year of a Portuguese Master in Medicine and 2.5 ECTS credits were allocated a priori to that CU. In the academic year 2014/2015 we changed the contents and methods used in that PH CU to include film-based teaching. We felt the need to assess the students’ workload using this new teaching approach. The objectives of this study were to estimate the students’ workload and its matching with the recommendations of the ECTS credits allocation. We also wanted to compare the students’ workload before and after 2014, when the new pedagogic approach began to be used.

Methods:
The estimate of the students’ workload was done using a specifically developed self-completed questionnaire. Students had to quantify the number of hours used in specific tasks needed to complete the CU with success. They were given a paper questionnaire in the end of the final written exam. Whether they filled or not the questionnaires they were asked to place them in a box, outside the examination room. The study was conducted in three academic years (2014/2015, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017).

Results:
Among the 494 valid questionnaires (94.8% of students attending the final exams) data on workload was only available in 350. All students attending the final exam completed successfully the CU with good marks. We assume that the defined competences were acquired. Workload was estimated for specific tasks and the individual total workload (in hours) was computed has the time used to study and prepare all tasks plus 30 contact hours with the teaching staff (lectures and seminars). The variation between students was enormous and the distributions of workload, both for specific tasks and total hours were skewed to the right. The mean total workload was 63.9 hours and the median 55.5 hours. Using the recommended range limits of 30 and 25 hours per ECTS credit, the estimated mean value corresponds respectively to 2.1 to 2.6 ECTS credits, which includes the 2.5 credits a priori allocated. The median value corresponds to 1.9 to 2.2 ECTS credits.

Conclusions:
The large workload variation between the individual students is one of the main findings of the study. Using median values estimated it seems that the workload is below what would correspond to 2.5 credits. But using means instead, there is a better correspondence between the ECTS credits allocated a priori and workload. Estimated workload was now smaller than that estimated in 2010, before films were used as a tool in the teaching of PH.
@InProceedings{GONCALVES2020EST,
author = {Gonçalves, G. and Carvalho, C. and Sacco, M.},
title = {ESTIMATE OF MEDICAL STUDENTS’ WORKLOAD IN A PUBLIC HEALTH COURSE UNIT AND COMPARISON WITH ECTS CREDITS ALLOCATION},
series = {14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2020 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-17939-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2020.2313},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2020.2313},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2020},
year = {2020},
pages = {8503-8508}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Gonçalves AU - C. Carvalho AU - M. Sacco
TI - ESTIMATE OF MEDICAL STUDENTS’ WORKLOAD IN A PUBLIC HEALTH COURSE UNIT AND COMPARISON WITH ECTS CREDITS ALLOCATION
SN - 978-84-09-17939-8/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2020.2313
PY - 2020
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2020
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2020 Proceedings
SP - 8503
EP - 8508
ER -
G. Gonçalves, C. Carvalho, M. Sacco (2020) ESTIMATE OF MEDICAL STUDENTS’ WORKLOAD IN A PUBLIC HEALTH COURSE UNIT AND COMPARISON WITH ECTS CREDITS ALLOCATION, INTED2020 Proceedings, pp. 8503-8508.
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